Sunday, November 7, 2010

dragging his hinger through the sky of my skull shell of sky and earth

I haven't written about my reading lately. I get these massive reading slumps, always have, long before I began yodeling about them online. I'll read a novel, be absorbed by the novel, it won't release me for weeks. I can't read anything else for weeks. I'll start novel after novel, read ten pages, be thinking about the novel that won't release me. I haven't had a reading slump in months. Holyfuck, I miss those reading slumps.

I'm three-quarters through Beckett's Molloy. It's the first time I've read it, feels like the fifth, feels exactly like rereading Moby Dick for the fifth time did last Fall, the love, the fuck you, the laughs, the fuck you. Being dicked willingly by an author who wants you to know you being dicked is an awesome and sore joy. I haven't laughed out loud more at a novel since the last time I did until the next time I do. I've not said Fuck this novel then compulsively picked it up again since rereading Moby Dick for the fifth time which pitched me into a colossal reading slump. Holyfuck, I've high and unreasonable hopes for a colossal reading slump after Beckett's trilogy.

Yesterday's hike:


Samuel Beckett

dragging his hinger through the sky
of my skull shell of sky and earth

strooping to the prone who must
soon take up their life and walk

mocked by a tissue that may not serve
till hunger earth and sky be offal


  1. Molloy! I'm happy to see you've found your way in.

  2. Yeah, it's claustrophobic and exhausting and expansive and exhilarating. Holyfuck, it's hilarious.

    And it feels like the serendipitous time to read it, though maybe it just took my head getting where it is now for Beckett to talk to me.

  3. Lord I hate Moby Dick. Do women ever read it unless they have a gun to their heads?

  4. Thanks for the knock!

  5. Didn't Laurie Anderson do a whole opera or something based on Moby-Dick?

    Also, I'd been thinking how I'd been listening obsessively to that one Arcade Fire album and how I was going to have to sheepishly confess to you that I had been, much to my dismay, liking it quite a bit, though I still hated the later one(s), but then when that crossed my mind a little while ago, I realized with relief that the whole thing had been a dream. Phew..

  6. Laurie Anderson:

    "I had a vague recollection of being very bored by a lot of the whaling details and technical paraphernalia. I also remember thinking that the captain and his obsession with the whale was a bit over the top, too fantastic, too Shakespearian. Then I read it again. And it was a complete revelation. Encyclopedic in scope, the book moved through ideas about history, philosophy, science, religion, and the natural world toward’s Melville’s complex and dark conclusions about the meaning of life, fear, and obsession. Being a somewhat dark person myself, I fell in love with the idea that the mysterious thing you look for your whole life will eventually eat you alive....As the book unfolds, it becomes virtually impossible to find the author. He’s hundreds of people....These narrative styles and forms of address morph rapidly. And it’s this daring approach to narrative voices that I’ve found most exciting and original about the book....Melville’s search for meaning is alternately frustrating and illuminating, multilayered and elusive, like the great while whale he searches for. For me, a key question is asked, almost as an afterthought, at the end of Father Mapple’s famous sermon, "So what is a man if he outlives the lifetime of his God?" Yes, really. What do you do when you no longer believe in the things that have driven you? How do you go on?....Eventually, I decided not to try to represent the characters but to try to catch the spirit of the book and some of Melville’s ideas that I find the most challenging."

    It was OK, not great, I thought. To be honest, she hasn't made me chime since the mid-80s.

  7. You...reread it? Jeebus, why didn't you just effing stay Catholic? And maybe join Opus Dei?


  8. Heh, 5th time. Scheduled to be read the 6th time approx 2015 (if I can wait that long). Gravity's Rainbow a fourth time in 2014, Giles Goat-Boy a fourth time in 2012, Magic Kingdom a sixth time in 2011.

    Suggestion: when possible, read Moby Dick out loud. You only hear half of it when reading silently.

  9. Oops, meant to add that 2013 will be rereading all of Harington's Stay More novels for the 2nd through 7th time, depending.

  10. I dated a guy once who tried to read it to me aloud. Dumped him in spite of some other fine qualities.